Volvo Ocean Race Confirms Course Change

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(May 10, 2016) – The Volvo Ocean Race will be making a departure during the 2017-18 edition when the first leg gets underway. Unlike past editions that saw the first leg immediately descend into the Atlantic, organisers have confirmed that the race will commence with a short, ‘sprint’ leg from Alicante, Spain to Lisbon, Portugal.

This will be the third edition that has stopped in Portugal’s capital city, but in the 2011-12 and 2014-15 races, Lisbon was the finish port for the transatlantic leg from the USA. It is now anticipated that the second leg of the race will extend from Lisbon to Cape Town, but this has not been announced.

However, what was also announced today is that a new Boatyard facility was opening with immediate effect in Lisbon to service the fleet for the next race and provide the base for an upgrade to all the Volvo Ocean 65 boats from October this year.

The Lisbon Boatyard will complement the well-established maintenance centre in Alicante that will continue to be available for teams as their Mediterranean training and support base.

The fleet for the 13th edition in 2017-18 will be upgraded in the Lisbon facility later this year and early into 2017. The city of Lisbon will also provide a convenient pre-race training hub for the fleet in the Atlantic.

“Lisbon has endless possibilities for us,” said Nick Bice, Head of the Boatyard. “The building we’ll be using for the Boatyard is an old fish market. If you were to design and build a facility to undertake the upgrades to the boats, you wouldn’t be able to design it better than what’s already there in the docks in Lisbon.

“The training options are almost limitless. You can go up around the corner, around Cascais and be virtually guaranteed wind at any stage. Equally, you could train in the Tagus River to practise in light air scenarios.”

The 13th edition will begin in Autumn 2017. Additional port confirmations and route information are still to be announced.

Current stopovers announced for the 2017-18 edition has the route beginning in Alicante (ESP) and thus far is presumed to be stopping in this order: Lisbon (POR), Cape Town (RSA), Hong Kong (HKG), Auckland (NZL), Newport (USA), Cardiff (GBR), Gothenburg (SWE), and finishing in The Hague (NED).

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